First Mover Americas: Hedera's HBAR Soars on Mistaken BlackRock Link

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for April 24, 2024.

AccessTimeIconApr 24, 2024 at 12:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 27, 2024 at 8:39 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter, putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Hedera’s native HBAR token surged by over 107% on Tuesday, then slipped 25%, as investors believed that BlackRock was involved in a fund tokenization project on the Hedera blockchain. On Tuesday, the HBAR Foundation, which tries to spur development of the Hedera ecosystem, announced that BlackRock’s ICS U.S. Treasury money market fund had been tokenized on the Hedera blockchain in collaboration with Archax. Hedera supporters on social media began claiming that BlackRock chose Hedera to tokenize its fund, although this wasn’t the case. Archax CEO Graham Rodford said that “it was indeed an Archax choice to put [the fund] on Hedera,” in response to criticism about potentially misleading marketing from HBAR. The token is currently up 50% over the past 24 hours trading at 13 cents.

Stablecoin issuer Tether has said it will freeze wallets using USDT to evade sanctions on oil exports in Venezuela. The decision comes after Reuters reported that Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA increased its use of tether to bypass renewed U.S. sanctions on oil exports. The firm froze 41 wallets tied to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list in December. “Tether respects the OFAC SDN list and is committed to working to ensure sanction addresses are frozen properly,” a Tether spokesperson told CoinDesk. PDVSA’s use of USDT, which began last year, has accelerated following the U.S.’s decision to reimpose sanctions due to concerns over Venezuela’s upcoming election.

Binance's founder and former chief executive, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, should spend three years in prison for his role in enabling the crypto exchange to violate federal sanctions and money laundering laws, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday night. The former CEO's attorneys argued he should serve no jail time, citing the fine he paid and his "extraordinary acceptance of responsibility." Attorneys with the DOJ filed a sentencing memo arguing he should spend 36 months in prison and pay a $50 million fine after he pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act last November. Hours later, Zhao's defense team filed its own sentencing memo, saying, "no defendant in a remotely similar BSA case has ever been sentenced to incarceration." Instead, they suggested he be sentenced to probation, which could include home confinement at his home in Abu Dhabi. "The sentence in this case will not just send a message to Zhao but also to the world. Zhao reaped vast rewards for his violation of U.S. law, and the price of that violation must be significant to effectively punish Zhao for his criminal acts and to deter others who are tempted to build fortunes and business empires by breaking U.S. law," the filing said.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows shares in chipmaker Nvidia have bounced from Friday's two-month low of $843, offering positive cues to risk assets, including cryptocurrencies.
  • The 90-day and 52-week correlation coefficient between bitcoin and Nvidia is above 0.80.
  • Source: TradingView.

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CORRECTION (April 24, 2024, 23:55 UTC): Corrects Hedera item to clarify that the HBAR Foundation, not Hedera itself, made the announcement.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.